My Vintage Computer Virtual Museum and blog page.

Compaq Portable III

My Compaq Portable III (added to my collection in 1998)

  • 80286 – 12mhz
  • 1.5MB RAM (640KB onboard, 1MB on AST SixPak ISA card)
  • 40GB HD (OnTrack BIOS Overlay)
  • 3.5″ 1.44MB Floppy (1/3 height from Pentium II era Compaq-Deskpro)
  • 3com 10Base-T ISA Ethernet card
  • 2400bps internal modem
  • Covox Speech Thing LPT-port audio DAC (With Win31 WAV drivers)
  • MS-DOS 6.22, MS-NET 3, Windows 3.1, MS-Word 2.0
  • 10″ 640×400 Gas Plasma display (with CGA backward compatibility)

The insulation on the keyboard cables tends to crack and flake off.  You can see in the last two keyboard photos that I’ve replaced the keyboard cable. I used an AT Keyboard extender cable, I cut one end off and soldered it to the keyboard PCB.



  1. Jacob N says:

    Hello I am also restoring a portable iii. Can you share any details on the keyboard replacement and how you matched the wires? Thank you!

    • I bought a coiled AT keyboard extension off ebay and clipped one end off (though you could also rob the cable off an AT keyboard, but that just seemed wrong). I used a multimeter in continuity/beep mode to figure out which wire went to which pin on it, then I did the same with the stock keyboard cable and matched them up.

  2. Drew Dickenson says:

    Having a heck of a time getting the keyboard apart in the first place. Found the 4 clips on the front but don’t see any in other places. No obvious screws (unless under the compaq plaque that I’m not taking off)

    I had same idea with the extension cable to make myself not worry about breaking that cable every time I used the machine but gotta get to implementation now!

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